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Reporting from Native America

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July 25, 2014
Latest post: March 20 5:07 pm

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Wednesday, April 20

SPOKANE, Wash. ­– Patrick Pierre’s lifelong passion with the Salish language has been a guide in his life. Recently, it led him to the hectic Pend d’Orielle Pavillion in the massive Northern Quest Resort and Casino.

He seemed a world away, attending the Celebrating Salish 2011 Conference. Pierre had left behind his Greek wife and sweat lodge on the shores of Dog Lake, Mont., driving three hours to be recognized for his extensive work in revitalizing the ancient tribal language.

Tuesday, February 15

Amid cutbacks, President Barack Obama is requesting to decrease the allocation to Indian Affairs by nearly $120 million in his proposed 2012 fiscal year budget.

However, Obama’s budget proposal, which was released Monday, also includes significant increases allocated to tribal programs in a proposed Strengthening Tribal Nations initiative.

In Obama’s plan, Indian Affairs – which includes the BIA and the Bureau of Indian Education – would get 2.5 billion, a decrease of $118.9 million from the previous levels, according to the Department of Interior.

Wednesday, February 9

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Senate gave preliminary approval Monday to adopt the "Code of the West" as Montana's code.

Senate Bill 216 sponsored by Senate President Jim Peterson deals with the 10-point cowboy code from the book Cowboy Ethics by James P. Owen.

The code includes items such as "Live each day with courage," "Be tough, but fair," "Ride for the brand," and "Know where to draw the line."

Friday, January 28

The State of Indian Nations is bound in red tape.

Jefferson Keel, president of the D.C.-based National Congress of American Indian, delivered the organization’s ninth annual address on Thursday. He urged the federal government to clear the way and allow tribes to participate fully in economic life by invoking rights to natural resource mining on Indian lands.

Friday, January 28

Hundreds of thousands of notices have been sent out to American Indians this week that could be affected by the $3.4 billion class action settlement Cobell v. Salazar, in which a Montana banker sued the federal government over misspent money accounts.

As ordered by the court, and later approved by the legislative and executive branches, a third party firm has launched an effort to notify the potentially hundreds of thousands of American Indians that might have been affected by the mismanaged accounts.

Wednesday, January 26

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A court-appointed media company has started a campaign to notify hundreds of thousands of Native Americans they may be beneficiaries of a $3.4 billion settlement.

Last month, a federal judge granted preliminary approval of the settlement over mismanaged money accounts held in trust by the federal government for Indian landowners. The settlement is the result of a 14-year lawsuit by Elouise Cobell of Browning, Mont.

Monday, January 24

ROCKY BOY’S RESERVATION, Montana - A half-year ago, much of the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation in north central Montana was under water.

Still in recovery mode, the Chippewa Cree tribe is facing years of work just to get back to where they were before the unprecedented flood hit this small reservation in mid-June last year.

Ted Whitford, a Rocky Boy tribal councilman, estimated that the reservation sustained more than $31 million in flood damages.

Monday, July 19

ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission is holding public hearings to gather input on how to preserve and protect sacred sites.

The first of five meetings will be held Tuesday in Crownpoint, N.M. Navajo citizens will have other opportunities to voice concerns or submit written comments in Fort Defiance, Chinle, Tuba City and Shiprock, N.M.

Sunday, July 4

Hundreds of people on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation are still without safe drinking water two weeks after flooding broke the reservation's water lines, tore up roads and forced dozens of evacuations.

Thursday, July 1

The state Division of Water Resources has decided to proceed with a groundwater pumping test at a planned city being built in the desert north of Las Vegas, even though an independent study suggests it could wipe out a federally protected species of fish.

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